“Business happens here.” That is the motto of the Enterprise Center and, in company with the motto of the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, “Start, stay and grow on the North Shore,” it captures the essence of the North of Boston Business Plan Competition (BPC). This annual competition is one way in which we actively promote and support emerging businesses and job creation on the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley.
Participants submit a 5-part application that is reviewed by an expert judging panel and evaluated according to established criteria. Six semi-finalists are selected to present their plan in person to the judges. Three finalists go on to present their plan publicly at a grand finale at which the judges determine the first, second and third place winners.
All participants receive written comments on their submission; the semi-finalists and finalists have the option of working with a presentation coach to fine-tune their plan for the judges.
If you are interested in applying to the North of Boston Business Plan Competition, you must:
- Have a business that is located in Essex County or Merrimack County, or will locate to one of these two areas.
- Submit a 5-part application, which includes:
1) Entry Form
2) 2-5 page Executive Summary
3) 1-3 pages of financial data and assumptions, including anticipated profitability (revenues minus expenses) and projected capital investment needs for three years.
4) 1-minute video presentation
5) Electronic acceptance of Participation Agreement
(All 5 of the above components can be seen on the Application, which will be available soon)
More detailed descriptions of the business plan elements are shown below.
General Submission Guidelines:
- Applicants may use their own cover page with company logo, tag line, etc.
- Please use a font size between 10 and 12 point.
- The Enterprise Center recommends that you use one of the following font styles: Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Garamond.
- Margins should be no less than .75 inches, not including header and footer.
- Please number all pages, including the first page.
- Please include your business concept name as a header or footer on all the pages.
- Applicants must submit their entry in a PDF format.
1) The Entry Form:
Applicants must complete all required fields of the Entry Form (which will be available soon).
2) The Executive Summary:
The Executive Summary should pique the reader’s interest. It cannot be longer than five pages and must include the following elements:
- A summary of the business concept.
- A description of the overall product or service being offered and the need it addresses.
- A short statement about the competitive advantages of the business.
- An analysis of the overall market or industry including
o The specific market segment addressed by the product/service and approximate size.
o Critical factors that have an impact on the industry, e.g., government regulations, approvals, or licensing requirements.
- A brief description of the competition.
- Revenue/business model (how the business will generate revenue); and
The management team, including relevant experience.
3) Financial Documents:
- Financials should include the following:
Revenue projections, estimated operating costs and anticipated profitability over the first three to five years. By how much will your income exceed your expenses? At what point do you expect to break even? How profitable do you think you will be?
- An outline of capital investment needs and sources, i.e., how much money will you need, where you think you can obtain it and when you expect to need it.
- Please include your financial assumptions in these calculations.
Your video presentation can be no longer than one minute and should give the judges a sense of what your company is and why you deserve to win the competition. You may splice the video together, use a mix of photos or videos, or simply speak into the camera.
5) Participation Agreement:
All principals must read the participation agreement, check off the box at the end of the Application (coming soon) that acknowledges that you have read it, and print the name of EACH principal who is entering the competition.
Questions? Please contact Susan Moulton: (978) 542-7576 or firstname.lastname@example.org